Tributes paid to former Ripon hornblower Alan Oliver - 'one of Ripon's greatest and most admired ambassadors'

Alan Oliver. Picture: Graham Hermon.
Alan Oliver. Picture: Graham Hermon.

Tributes have been paid to former Ripon hornblower, Alan Oliver, who died suddenly at his home in France aged 63.

Readers have shared their fond memories of Alan, who served the city as a hornblower for more than 20 years - describing him as one of Ripon’s greatest and most admired ambassadors.

A statement from Alan’s family reads : “We think it’s clear for all to see, that Alan’s contribution to Ripon went further than just the hornblowing - he was and to some extent still is, the face of Ripon, as his depiction on various Ripon tourist items with his iconic beard goes to show - and also promoting Ripon with the wider European Watchmen and hornblowing community.

“It’s obvious that he loved the role to have done it for 21 years, and held down a full-time job with the post office. It’s not easy standing out at 9pm every night in all weathers, 365 days a year - not to mention all the civic functions he was expected to attend. That all takes a special kind of commitment.

“Obviously his death has absolutely shocked and devastated both his close family and friends, and it’s safe to say that we are all struggling to come to terms with it at the moment - and we would like to thank everyone for all of the messages of sympathy that we have received.

“Alan’s cremation was on Tuesday in Perpignan - strangely on what would have been his 64th birthday. This was in line with Alan’s wishes, and his ashes are to be scattered at a loved location in the area of his home.”

Full obituary and more tributes in next week’s ‘Gazette.